Thursday, November 23, 2006

Half deaf but recovering

I finally got today the answer to a four-week old nagging question, which by the way also explains why this blog has not been updated during the same period. It's a long story, but since this is the first time that I can actually stare at a PC for more than 30 minutes without going berserk, here is the long story.

I had terrible colds towards the end of October, which I did not take medication for except taking lots of liquids and vitamic c. The frustrated doctor in me has always believed that that colds have a natural expiration date. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to go home to Tacloban on October 27 for the wedding of my youngest brother. So I took the plane and forgot to take precautions for the fact that I had terrible colds.

Halfway through the one-hour flight, my ear started to buzz. Then came this piercing pain. It was terrible and I had the longest ever 30 minute flight in my whole life. I was literally crying in pain and could not wait to get out of the plane.

To make this story shorter, I went to a doctor who prescribed medicines for my colds and eardrops. Unfortunately again, my brother's wedding, All Saints Day, plus a family beach party meant that I had to be exposed to extremely hot temperature. My colds were aggravated and before long, I knew I had infections - my tonsilitis acted up, my ears were in pain, I was running a fever, etc., the works.

And worse, I had to take the plane back to Manila. A doctor in Tacloban prescribed a nasal spray to help alleviate the pain, and it helped, except that I knew that it wasn't doing anything to the actual pressure on my right ear.

Anyway. So here's the story. I have a punctured ear drum. We are hoping that the hole would close naturally with the help of some medication, otherwise, I would have to undergo surgery to close it.

The diagnosis was arrived at only today - after four weeks of intense pain, bottles of various ear drops and anti-flammatory drugs, and two rounds of antibiotics. I am now on clarithromycin, which costs a fortune, and which, I am told is a very strong antibiotic - should I have the misfortune of developing immunity to it, I would only have around four more antibiotics to go.

But at least the pain is now bearable although I still get dizzy everytime I have to do sudden movements. Until today, I could not stare at a PC for more than 30 minutes each time - and this meant work had to be prioritized.

Am still half-deaf though and there is this buzzing sound in my ear. Now I have profound respect for old people with hearing problems. I have to strain to catch every word someone says to me. And I am too damn proud to consider asking people to repeat what they just said so I strain very hard to make sure that I get it right the first time around.

And that is the latest about me for those who care enough to know.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. I lost my hearing in 1 ear so I know exactly how it feels. Except mine has no pain. But the ringing...well after awhile I just got "used to it". I had no choice. I too miss some things coz I won't ask people to repeat either. Halley Berry is deaf in 1 ear too by the way.

Hernando R. Mariano said...

Hi Bong,
I use to suffer the same piercing pain you had in your ears when taking a plane ride. I was told by a stewardwss who saw me writhing in pain to pinch the nose close and the mouth also closed tight and then blow hard. It seemed that some trapped air inside the ears were blown away and pain was gone.
But the worse part is I now have that continious ringing in my left ear for years now and it affected my hearing very much.
I am unable to understand conversation among people in a running car and a room with background noisae like TV, radio and too much talking all at the same time. I have not gone to movies and attend Sunday services because the audio are all blurred to me. With the TV at home, I need to set the audio at higher pitch. Now I am using wireless earphones which helps a lot.
The prognosis of the several specialist I visited are the same. It is called 'tinitus' and up to now medical science has not yet fount any solution for the problem.
Yes it is frustrating. Oftentimes I pretended I understand the groups' conersations when I don't. I am able however to converse properly when there are no background noise.
Please tell me if you are able to get some remedy.

hrm